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The Intersection 4-17-22

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This industry is getting rewired in endless ways

Decision-makers across the auto industry are not just tinkering around the edges of the business. They are cracking it open and rewiring what’s inside.

This week’s issue is full of numbers that drive that point home, in story after story, from corner after corner of the industry — an array of illustrations. Here are 10 examples you’ll find among the pages this week:

4: New electric models that BMW plans to launch this year and next as it attempts to push back Tesla’s threat to its luxury-segment leadership.

707,000: The number of vehicles that used-car giant CarMax acquired last year through an instant online appraisal tool.

$500 million: The amount CarMax has earmarked for capital spending this year as it opens new stores amid the industry’s pursuit of used car opportunities.

$1 billion: The investment Dana, a company historically known for its axles, driveshafts, transmissions and sealing businesses, plans to make by 2025 in e-propulsion systems.

2 million: The number of EVs that Honda Motor Co. expects to sell annually by 2030.

14,324: The number it sold last year.

2,000: The workers that Envision AESC plans to recruit and train to produce EV batteries in Bowling Green, Ky., for Mercedes and other customers — at the same time that Ford is preparing to recruit and train 5,000 EV battery workers 60 miles away in Glendale, Ky. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear believes the two projects will make Kentucky the U.S. industry’s battery capital.

0: Total combined square footage of floorspace at the 2022 New York auto show consumed by Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Honda, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz.

610: New York auto show booth number for Vietnamese EV startup VinFast.

$35: The monthly charge to lease the battery that will come in VinFast’s VF 8 crossover. The lease allows for 310 miles of monthly use, or 3,720 miles a year. After that, owners will pay 11 cents a mile.

— Lindsay Chappell   

In Monday’s Automotive News:

Inside out: Ford has a long history of significant designs, from classic Thunderbirds and Mustangs to F-Series pickups. Now, new design chief Anthony Lo says the company is turning its design process for new vehicles upside down. How so? His teams start off by thinking about who the customers are and designing an interior experience around their specific needs. Only then do they think about how the vehicle looks from the outside, Lo explains.

Finally! It’s been a long time coming: We climb behind the wheel for a drive of Nissan’s long-anticipated Ariya electric vehicle. We share our driving impressions of the crossover, which starts at $47,125 including shipping and goes on sale here this fall, and give readers a sneak peek at its coolest features: good looks, check; walk-through front row, check; sleek haptic control panel, check; responsive all-wheel drive, check. 

Weekend headlines

Elon Musk’s tweet about taking Tesla private was false, U.S. judge rules: The ruling could put the EV maker at a disadvantage in a San Francisco jury trial set for late May because Tesla won’t be allowed to argue the controversial Twitter post was truthful.

Hyundai’s U.S. EV manufacturing: Hyundai North America CEO Jose Muñoz had plenty of EV announcements at the New York auto show. The automaker will build the hybrid version of its Santa Fe midsize crossover and the Genesis Electrified GV70 compact crossover at its plant in Montgomery, Ala. He also said Hyundai would build an assembly plant in the U.S. for electric vehicles and batteries. A location hasn’t been selected yet. The moves are part of Hyundai’s aggressive $7.4 billion investment plan for the U.S. aimed at producing EVs, upgrading factories and developing smart mobility technologies.

Kentucky gets battery plant: Envision AESC of Japan is staking a claim on the expanding American EV market with a $2 billion investment in a massive new battery cell and module plant in Bowling Green, Ky. The plant will supply Mercedes-Benz’s EV production line in Vance, Ala., but will also pitch future business to other automakers.

CarMax sales slip: CarMax said it sold fewer used vehicles in its fiscal fourth quarter as a result of faltering consumer confidence and affordability issues, though revenue from those sales grew nearly 33 percent because of a surge in average retail selling prices.

April 18, 2011: A Volkswagen Passat SEL in Night Blue Metallic equipped with a 2.5-liter engine, automatic transmission, leather interior and 18-inch wheels is built in Chattanooga. It was the first customer vehicle to be assembled at VW’s plant.

Source : AutoNews

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